Kristin Miller is a character of monumental will. The central figure of Alexi Kaye Campbell’s Apologia, Kristin has spent years protesting war, championing women, combatting oppression, and, most consequentially, pioneering her own way into the male-dominated field of art history. While many of those who once stood by her side as fellow demonstrators in the 1960s abandoned their progressivist roots as they grew older, Kristin never lapsed in her work as an activist and a radical, committing herself for decades to upending the status quo. Uncompromising in her beliefs and unflinching in her willingness to fight for them, Kristin has won the admiration of her peers and the respect of her generation.
But with every victory comes a price. On Kristin’s birthday in 2009, her two sons are boiling over at the recent publication of her memoir, which chronicles her many achievements as an activist and art historian. To her sons, Kristin’s preoccupation with her work throughout their childhood left them neglected as they came of age. In her constant battle for social good, has Kristin failed the two people she loves the most? Or has she merely rejected a conventional family lifestyle in exchange for something much bigger? With searing honesty and unrelenting humor, Alexi Kaye Campbell’s magnificent play paints a rich and complicated portrait of one maverick trailblazer, exploring the many folds of responsibility that underlie her dual roles as activist and parent. In the process, Apologia pits society against family, idealism against compromise, and generation against generation. What is the greater motherhood – preparing one’s children for an unjust world, or fighting to leave them a better one to inherit?
I am so excited to present the New York premiere of Apologia with the legendary Stockard Channing, whose long relationship with Roundabout extends all the way back to our 1984 revival of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. That production, in addition to earning both Stockard and Roundabout our first-ever Tony Awards®, also featured Stockard’s Apologia costar John Tillinger, who himself has worked with Roundabout time and time again. I am thrilled to be collaborating for the first time with the great Hugh Dancy, and I warmly welcome back to Roundabout director Daniel Aukin, returning for his fourth production with us after having most recently directed Joshua Harmon’s Skintight in the Laura Pels Theatre this very summer. Alexi Kaye Campbell is himself making his Roundabout debut with Apologia, which responds so powerfully to our present American moment. As historic numbers of Americans today dedicate time and energy to their own social and political causes, Apologia’s investigation of the triumphs and sacrifices of social progress asks just how far we are willing to go—and just what we are willing to lose—to defend what we believe in most.
As always, I am eager to hear your thoughts, so please continue to email me at ArtisticOffice@roundabouttheatre.org with your reactions. I can’t tell you how greatly I value your feedback.
I look forward to seeing you at the theatre!